'Where's the Brew Stop? The off-road cycle touring website'. About off- road cycle touring routes, cyclist’s cafes, off-road cycle touring, local group events and good photos. For cyclists who love off-road leisure cycling in Northern England
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Cycling touring articles by Pat Lloyd and other folk
Rough-Stuffing in USA by Charles Colerich I received this e-mail from Charles Colerich  I hope you enjoy reading it. Hello Simeon, Part of the mountain bike craze in the US can be traced back to the UK. I lived in New Mexico (USA) during the 70's. I managed a bike shop for much of that time. We used to get cycling magazines from the UK before US publications became popular. We were really intrigued by several articles on "Rough Stuffing" in the UK. During a road race in 1975 a friend and I got dropped really badly by the pack on a climb up a 3850 meter (12,600 ft.) mountain. We gave up on chasing the pack and turned onto a dirt road. We kept riding and eventually the road turned into a single track. We ended up riding all the way to the top of the mountain on a dirt trail with road silks and gears. My friend owned the bike shop that I managed. We were importing European cyclo cross bikes with long wheel bases, relaxed angles and cantilever brakes but had never tried them off road. We sold them for use as touring bikes. I was also building frames at the time. During the next week we put together some off road bikes and took them out that weekend. That was the start of our love for off road bicycling. My friend continued riding a cyclo cross bike with dropped bars. I built a lugged frame that was similar to early commercial models that came out during the 80's. I also opted for upright bars with some motor cycle components. We rode cyclo cross sewups on soft surfaces and I used some cheap Wolber 700 x 35C commuter bike tires for rougher rocky trails. Over the next 4-5 years we rode all over the mountains in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. I ended up in Northern California working as a manufacturing engineer in metal working and machining. I had connections with many of the frame and component builders in the area. The attached picture shows the bike I still ride. It's a lugged Reynolds 531 frame with 700Cs that I built about 10-12 years ago. A quote from the RSF main web site: "The history of the RSF goes way back to its foundation in 1955, long before anyone had ever heard of Marin County. It was formed by cyclists who wanted to get away from roads and cycle on tracks, and byways. Bikes then were a world away from their modern-day counterparts. Steel frames, no suspension, no V- brakes and gearing to make your hair curl." Thanks for your response. Please feel free to use my message on your web site. Attached are 2 pictures from a ride we did in the Jemez Mountains in Northern New Mexico, USA in 1977.  The area was on the slopes of Valle Grande an extinct volcano. We were riding at about 2,500 meters. This was true rough-stuff riding as there were almost no trails, tracks or roads through this area. That's me standing on the log. We stopped for minute because our friend got a stick caught in his from wheel. Regards, Charles Colerich